Scientific breakthroughs are rarely achieved in isolation. They require collaboration, cutting-edge techniques, and a platform where scientists can come together to exchange knowledge and explore groundbreaking tools. And that’s exactly what the 2023 PacBio Discoveries Roadshow delivered…
The 2023 Roadshow in the Americas and Europe left a lasting impression. The event emphasized the growing excitement around the latest updates in PacBio long-read sequencing, the power of networking with peers, and our community’s eagerness to have a first look at game-changing Revio data.
Join us as we look back on some of the highlights that unfolded…
Reaching new heights
With a global reach, the 2023 Discoveries Roadshow captured the attention of over 1,800 scientists across 33 cities. From the Americas to Europe and beyond, scientists shared stories, took part in panel Q&A sessions, and reconnected under the spring sunshine. With an unprecedented turnout, venues were filled with excited guests from a broad range of research areas.
“The format was really nice, particularly the possibility to talk directly with PacBio scientists was highly valuable.” –Etienne Bucher, PhD, Agroscope
A tapestry of testimonials
To get a glimpse into the Roadshow experience, we’ve collected some of our favorite moments:
Attendees benefitted from gaining fresh insights through peers, to garnering inspiration from the latest in PacBio technology. The transformative potential of advancing science through the power of sequencing was a testament to our customers and the powerful work they do.
Early access and an exclusive first look
One of the Roadshow’s biggest draws was the opportunity to gain early access to data from new technologies such as the Revio long-read sequencing system and the latest short-read sequencer, Onso. The possibilities presented by these game-changing technologies sparked a sense of anticipation among the scientific community. Researchers eagerly explored the potential for increased throughput, unravelling the mysteries of previously inaccessible genetic information.
“The Revio data broke my Y axis” –Alex Leonard, PhD
Roadshow attendees also got an exclusive first look at Revio data. The proprietary data presented by esteemed speakers showed the promise of the untapped potential of Revio and left attendees buzzing with excitement.
A snapshot of discovery
With hundreds of presentations spread across many different countries, guests experienced talk topics spanning from biodiversity to cancer research, and more.
Here are a few examples of some of the great insights that were shared:
Alex Rubinsteyn, PhD:
Dr. Rubinsteyn’s talk focused on the use of long-read sequencing combined with RNA-Seq for neoantigen discovery. By utilizing PacBio whole genome sequencing and the Iso-Seq method, he explained how he identified structural variants in bladder and breast tumors that can serve as neoantigen candidates. This approach enables the detection of cancer mutations that T-cells can recognize, highlighting the need for variant-aware RNA alignment and identification of coding sequences.
Melissa Laird Smith, PhD:
Dr. Laird Smith introduced the SMRTcap method, which utilizes HiFi sequencing to study host-pathogen interactions. This approach captures viral genomes integrated into the host genome, such as HIV, that are often missed by short-read sequencing. Additionally, Dr. Smith discussed the iGenotyper bioinformatics tool, which characterizes significant structural and single nucleotide variation in the immunoglobulin heavy locus (IgH). This variation challenges the belief that individual variation comes from differential expression of a homogenous gene repertoire, and affects the efficacy of germline-targeted vaccine strategies that target specific antibody genes to elicit an immune response. This work, Dr. Smith hopes, will encourage the consideration of host genotype in developing and improving vaccines.
Stephanie Pond, PhD:
Dr. Pond demonstrated the application of SBB sequencing in identifying drug-resistant variants in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Comparing sequences using Sequencing by Synthesis (SBS) and Sequencing by Binding (SBB) sequencing, SBB sequencing was able to detect minor variant populations of the katG gene, associated with isoniazid resistance, at significantly lower levels (0.001% at high depth and as low as 0.01% at 20k depth). Furthermore, SBB data yielded remarkably lower false positive rates than SBB and SBB-error corrected sequencing. Dr. Pond emphasized that these results signify broad applications for SBB sequencing across infectious disease and oncology.
Alexander Leonard, PhD:
Dr. Leonard presented a Bovine whole genome sequencing project which was started using the Sequel II and has now evolved onto the Revio system. Alexander presented impressive improvements per SMRT Cell from 20Gb HiFi yield when starting in Oct 2020 to 100Gb HiFi yield in May 2023 on the Revio system. He also discussed improvements to bioinformatics with DeepConsensus resulting in a 45% reduction in data storage footprint.
Networking and beyond
“It was a really nice conference with talks from various fields, which made it very interesting to see the wide applicability.” –Jesse Bruijnesteijn PhD, BPRC
While science was at the forefront of the Roadshow, the ways that guests connected with peers, fostered collaborations, and shared insights was equally as impressive. The Roadshow provided a fantastic opportunity for knowledge transfer, igniting fresh ideas, and inspiring novel approaches to scientific challenges.
At the end of the day, the PacBio Discoveries Roadshow goes far further than its duration. For those who couldn’t attend the Discoveries Roadshow, select recordings from certain cities are now live on the Discoveries Roadshow Hub.
Hear from renowned scientists, immerse yourself in the latest research presentations, and, as always, keep an eye out for the next PacBio event in your area. We can’t wait to see how you embrace the journey of discovery that lies ahead.